This week we will study President Monson’s general conference talk,
“The Divine Gift of Gratitude”
by President Thomas S. Monson
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to discuss with an aunt her recent trip to Ghana to pick up her missionary son. We talked about how amazing it is that people who have so little, and who spend their days solely in matters of sustenance– food, water, provisions, are so kind and vibrant and happy and generous. It didn’t take long to turn our conversation to the sad reality of how blessed we are and how often we take our blessings for granted. In short, when we have so much to be happy about, we are often ungrateful.
“My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.”
What did you learn and/or understand better from President Monson’s talk? What did you feel like it encouraged you to do?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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9 thoughts on “GCBC Week 19: The Divine Gift of Gratitude”
I appreciated how he mentioned that people often have regrets when a loved one dies and that we should appreciate them NOW so we don’t have those regrets. I know it’s all about just appreciating people for who they are anyway (and forgiving their faults) but thinking about it in terms of really being grateful for them before it’s too late somehow jumped out at me. I will be more patient with my family. I am so grateful for them!!
I know I have slacked, but I am almost caught up and read the all of the other talks I’m behind with. Luckily I taught this particular address in Novemeber so I have studied, pondered and lived this talk for months. Some days I show and live better “an attitude of gratitude”. When I don’t, I feel in my heart.
I love how President Monson reminds us that we need to express and give thanks for our blessings and NOT, I repeat NOT focus on what we are lacking. So how do we do this? “. . .prayerful life is the key to possessing gratitude.” WOW!!! simply praying? Then thanking our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for our blessing. What I have done is started “naming them one by one and it’s surprising what the Lord has done.” I love it! I love the fact that I can thank him and then there is more that comes to mind to share with that I am grateful for.
Here are 2 paragraphs that stood out to me.
“We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that ‘gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.’
How can we cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude? President Joseph F. Smith, sixth President of the Church, provided an answer. Said he: ‘The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life.’ He continued: ‘Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!'”
I know that as we pray to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ with a “cultivated heart of gratitude” we will find the joy and happiness.
When Pres. Monson talked about when Christ fed the 4,000 by first giving thanks for he had, I thought about how much time and energy I waste on thinking about all that I don’t have. I need to do better at recognizing all that the Lord has already done for me because He has done SO much!
There were so many good quotes in this address! This is something that I have been working on with my children, and I am beginning to realize that it is going to be a lifelong battle, I mean process. Some of my favorite quotes from President Monson’s address were…
“While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right.”
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
“Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His words. By doing so, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude.”
The following paragraph struck me –
In the book of Matthew in the Bible, we have another account of gratitude, this time as an expression from the Savior. As He traveled in the wilderness for three days, more than 4,000 people followed and traveled with Him. He took compassion on them, for they may not have eaten during the entire three days. His disciples, however, questioned, “Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?” Like many of us, the disciples saw only what was lacking.
I have a mosaic plate of the loaves and fishes hanging in my kitchen that I purchased in the Old City of Jerusalem of few years ago. I hung it in my kitchen to remind me that, no matter what, Christ will provide for our every need. Now it also serves as a reminder to focus on our abundance of blessings instead of only seeing what we lack. I loved this talk.
I had a few thoughts I thought worth sharing. During general conference I kept hearing the theme that we follow the prophet and the importance of his counsel. I remember saying to my husband, wow is the prophet going to announce some new thing, and all the speakers have been preparing us to hear it – my husband in his infinite wisdom told me – no, he’s going to tell us something profoundly simple, that we are not doing well. Sure enough – gratitude. Something we all can do better.
After this talk was given we had a fairly effective FHE based on it, I thought I would share. I told the story about the family w/out electricity in the dark, using only a flashlight. Then at the point in the story where they received electricity we turned on the lights. At the end, when the family is gathered around the table, we turned off the lights again. After the lesson and a talk about gratitude, we made a gratitude jar. The kids decorated it with the words “I can be grateful & I can follow the prophet” Every night that week as we ate dinner, the kids all shared 5 things they were grateful for that day. The older kids tried not to repeat anything they had already said earlier in the week. We filled the jar with pennies as they said what they were grateful for. At the end of the week, on our next FHE we decided to give away things that we didn’t need any more as a family. It was a nice way to wrap up the week, being grateful for what we have, then getting rid of the excess.
I love the prophet, and his simple but profound teachings that will improve our lives.
Love this FHE! Thanks for sharing.
The talk reminded me of the importance of being grateful for two main reasons… so that I don’t offend God and because it is a noble virtue. I also liked how he pointed out that we need to give thanks before miracles and see past what we lack. I think these will be very important things for me to remember in the next coming months for me.
This is one of my favorite talks. I’m trying to work on the talent of gratitude. It’s amazing to me how important this principle is! I also found the talk by Clark this fall when BYU Idaho started also interesting. “Drenched in Gratitude: Protection Against the Spirit of Entitlement” http://www.byui.edu/Presentations/Transcripts/Devotionals/2010_09_14_Clark.htm